Elevate Credit puts off IPO due to market volatility

Ken Rees is Chief Executive Officer at Elevate Credit.
Ken Rees is Chief Executive Officer at Elevate Credit.

Elevate Credit, a fast-growing Fort Worth-based online lender to credit-strapped consumers, is putting off its initial public offering due to the current turmoil in the financial markets.

The company had planned to price its offering this week and and begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange Friday. But today, the company issued a statement saying it had decided to “temporarily delay” the pricing.

“Although the response to the marketing of our planned IPO has been very favorable, we recognize that the current market volatility makes it very difficult to price our offering at present,” said Ken Rees, Elevate’s chief executive officer, in the statement. “We will continue to evaluate the timing for the offering as market conditions develop. We believe our strong growth to date, and our responsible online credit products, make Elevate an exciting opportunity that we look forward to bringing to the market.”

Wall Street has had a very rocky start to 2016, with the S&P 500 falling to its lowest level in two years. At one point on Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off more than 500 points before recovering.

Elevate, which spun out of Think Finance in 2014, filed registration documents for its IPO in November.

The company, which offers short-term installment loans and lines of credit to subprime borrowers, said the company has provided $1.2 billion in short-term credit to about 450,000 customers since launching its current product line in 2013.

Revenues grew 280 percent in 2014 to $273.7 million, and another 67 percent in the first nine months of 2015, the company reported. But it recorded a net loss of $54.6 million in 2014 and another $20.1 million in the first nine months of 2015.